Former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey was always a strange fit as the president of the fashion and lit-theory mecca of the New School — an ardent centrist (by American, not New York standards) and Medal of Honor winner, he led an aggressive push to centralize the school and, in 2008, was given a vote of no confidence by the faculty. In May of 2009, he said he’d leave in two years, when his contract expired.
But today the school’s board announced that he will be leaving by the end of the year and will be replaced by David Van Zandt, a low-key dean of Northwestern Law School. Kerrey’s stint at the New School began under a storm caused by a 2001 article in The New York Times Magazine that accused the former Navy seal of committing war crimes in Vietnam. Van Zandt will probably face something similar, and may be forced to reply to moderate, thoughtful critiques of his 2009 Rutgers Law Review article on “Innovation in Legal Education.”